Boehner backed out of Ritz Carlton event for anti-tea party PAC

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Republican House Speaker John Boehner was in talks to appear at an event next weekend at a Ritz Carlton event hosted by an anti-tea party PAC devoted to fighting conservatives within the GOP.

Boehner was in preliminary talks to join fellow House members at a $5,000-a-head event hosted by The Republican Main Street Partnership PAC before deciding not to appear due to a reputed scheduling conflict. The event will reportedly be attended by $5,000 donors to the PAC, which sells $5,000 tickets to its events on its website.

The event will be hosted at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island in Nassau County, Florida.

The Republican Main Street Partnership PAC was formed in part by board member and former congressman Steve LaTourette, who has committed himself to raising money and running ads to defend centrist congressional Republican candidates from tea party primary challengers. LaTourette is the president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a prominent advocacy group for the centrist wing of the GOP. His separate anti-tea party super PAC Defending Main Street had by February received most of its funding from labor unions.

“They have decided to systemically go against center-right Republicans in primary elections,” LaTourette previously told The Daily Caller, referring to his tea party rivals. LaTourette said that tea partiers are happy to call him a “RINO” but that that they go “apoplectic” when the “RINO gets a gun” and “fires back.”

“Here’s the deal: we didn’t start this fight,” LaTourette said, “but I’m going to finish it.”

LaTourette’s efforts challenge those of conservative House members like Rep. Louie Gohmert, who recently launched his GOH Conservative PAC to fight back against establishment Republican fundraising efforts.

Gohmert criticized Boehner Thursday after the Speaker rushed a seemingly doomed bill to extend Medicare reimbursements through the House with a “voice vote” while many members were still in their offices instead of on the House floor. Gohmert said “you need to be able to trust your own leadership.”

This report has been updated

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